Political correctness has eliminated foie gras in California and Chicago, removed various species of fish such as Chilean Sea Bass from many restaurant menus and nixed caged-hen eggs from an increasing number of college dining operations.
Next up: lobsters.
Whole Foods Market recently announced that it would no longer sell live lobsters (or live soft-shell crabs) for humane reasons (it probably didn't hurt that the products were money losers anyway). Even aside from the boiling water deaths the crustaceans face once they're purchased, Whole Foods says it can't guarantee that their trip from sea to grocery store is a picnic either. So, the grocery chain decided to tank the entire line of business instead.
Scientists aren't so sure it isn't lobster lovers who will suffer needlessly in the aftermath of the decision. Many say that the lobster nervous system is too primitive to have any awareness of what is going on, or even to feel "pain" when tossed in the boiling pot (the European Food Safety Authority feels differently, but then, they're European...).
And it's not like Whole Foods has suddenly got religion about the sanctity of lobster life. They will still sell frozen lobster tails and lobster meat.
Suggested new slogan: "We kill them so you don't have to!"
The Gateway Grizzlies, an independent minor league baseball team playing in the St. Louis market, recently has made headlines, but not for its on-field exploits. Rather, it has become famous for one of its new concessions items, the "Doughnut Burger." The offering features a hamburger beef patty topped with melted Cheddar cheese and two strips of bacon, served on a halved deepfried Krispy Kreme Classic Glazed Donut in place of a bun. The sandwich clocks in at around 1,000 calories, about the same as a Double-Beef Whopper With Cheese from Burger King (but substantially less than the notorious Hardees Monster Thickburger, which delivers 1,420 calories).
The sweet-and-savory concoction is not a particularly new invention. A pub in Decatur, GA, called Mulligan's Bar & Grill has been serving a similar sandwich called the Luther Burger for a while. The Mulligan's sandwich is named for R&B singer Luther Vandross, who supposedly first thought of it (perhaps to his own demise, since the singer died at age 54 of obesity-related ills).
The Doughnut Burger has been an enormous hit with Grizzlies fans and has also drawn suicidal gastronomes from other parts of the country. ABC News quoted one man who ate three in one sitting as saying it was "the best burger I've ever had."
The Grizzlies and Mulligan's seem to be in a race to the bottom to see who can come up with better ways to irk nutritionists. A couple years ago, the Griz unveiled "baseball's best hot dog," a frank topped with two bacon strips, sauteed onions, sauerkraut and Cheddar cheese sauce. But that's nothing compared to Mulligan's other popular offering, the "Hamdog"—a hot dog wrapped in ground beef and deep-fried, then slathered with chili, cheese sauce and sauteed onions and served on a hoagie bun topped with a fried egg and french fries.
Hey, where's the dipping in lard?
But how do you REALLY feel, mate?
"Take a look at airline food and compare it with what you get in your average pub. The menu rarely gets better than tinned soup, sandwiches that have been hanging around for hours, bog-standard lasagne and tasteless meat or fish that's been deep-fried to hell and back."
—Marcus Wareing, chef of the Michelin-starred Petrus Restaurant in London's Knightsbridge district, defending airline food by contrasting it with food served at the typical English pub. If half of what he says it true, it's no wonder American fast food chains have been so popular in Britain—no " bogstandard" (nope, we don't know either) lasagna under the Golden Arches...